The results of our research on the tourism of Arillas were made public on Sunday 20 January. A lot of people came to the presentation and left after a couple of hours much wiser!
To take it from the start, a couple of years ago the Arillas business Association set up a questionnaire to measure how satisfied our visitors were, what they liked and disliked most and other such things. The first year we got 300 replies, the second year (2012) we got back 600 replies. Looking for someone to help us analyse the results of the survey we came across Dr Kostas Tsoumanis.
Dr Tsoumanis is an expert in tourist marketing, has conducted several such surveys in the past and is currently the head of the National Tourism Organisation (EOT) department of the Ionian islands. He offered to help us and was pleasantly surprised by the results of the survey. The result of his analysis was a 80-page document, not only outlining the replies to the survey but going one step further to propose a long-term vision for Arillas and specific steps that need to be taken to get there! For the full pdf (in Greek) go to the Arillas official website.
- Arillas has an extremely large number of recurring visitors. 1 out of 2 visitors have been here more than 5 times while 1 out of 4 more than 10 times!
- The average visitor of Arillas is over 45, travels single or with a partner/friend, stays two weeks or longer and is a returning visitor.
- Visitors are content about Arillas. Almost all aspects of the area such as the people, accommodation, restaurants, beach, natural surroundings etc score very high. The most impressive statistic of the whole survey (for me) was that 96.5% of the visitors say they will visit Arillas again in the coming 5 years!
- What people value more about Arillas is the peace and quiet, the authenticity and hospitality and in general the feeling of a village as opposed to a resort.
- Another impressive fact is that the most popular answer (by far) to the question “What changes would you like to see in Arillas next time you come?” was “Nothing”!
- Most people coming to Arillas use the internet and book their accommodation directly with the owners. This means that Arillas is to a large degree independent of big tour operators.
- Next to the nature and beach, the good food, walking trails, meditation centres, and local festivals are seen as big advantages of Arillas.
Based on these results, the aim for the future is to maintain the authenticity of the village and develop according to a model based on sustainability and quality to become a pilot holiday destination that could serve as an example for other destinations on Corfu and Greece. To get there, all people of Arillas must first of all share this vision and work together to achieve our goals, one little step at a time. We believe this is the way out of the crisis. Get down to work and start creating something from the bottom up, little by little, in harmony with nature.
We have set our goals high, but we are committed to achieve them. We will do all we can to keep Arillas clean, authentic, green and hospitable and we will continue to improve our services to keep our old friends content and bring even more people to this piece of heaven on Corfu.